Sports never stop. But you do.
That’s why we’re launching “Flagrant 2,” our a.m. recap of the highlights that happened while you were sleeping/eating/fostering various interpersonal relationships. And since you’re busy living, we’re breaking down the two biggest sports stories of the day, the headlines you’ll be discussing until waaaay after lunch (which is basically forever).
Here’s the update for Monday morning.
Kings Reign Again
The Los Angeles Kings are four wins away from their second Stanley Cup in three seasons, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Seven of the NHL’s Western Conference Final on Sunday night.
The game itself was essentially a microcosm of the Kings’ 2014 postseason run; they came back three times, erasing an early 2-0 margin, then tying it again in the second and third periods, before defenseman Alec Martinez scored the game winner 5:47 into overtime, his shot striking the Hawks’ Nick Leddy and floating past goaltender Corey Crawford. Chicago’s Patrick Sharp had a pair of goals in a losing effort.
With the win, the Kings became the first franchise in NHL history to have survived three Game Sevens before reaching the Stanley Cup Final – they rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the first round against the San Jose Sharks and a 3-2 hole against the Anaheim Ducks in round two – and they almost let a 3-1 lead slip away against Chicago, who were looking to become the first team since the ’98 Detroit Red Wings to repeat as champions.
Instead, it’s the Kings moving on to the Stanley Cup Final, where they’ll face an upset-minded New York Rangers squad. Game 1 is set for Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
U.S. Roasts Turkey
The U.S. Men’s National Team continued their tune-up for the 2014 World Cup, besting noted soccer powerhouse Turkey 2-1 in a friendly on Sunday.
Clint Dempsey – one of the players vying to replace Landon Donovan as the face of the team – and Fabian Johnson both scored for the U.S., and Jozy Altidore (scoreless in international matches since last October) nearly added a third goal, though he was whistled for a foul after shoving the goalkeeper. The squad looked sharper than they did in an earlier win against Azerbaijan, though they didn’t shine, and questions about the U.S.’s defense remain. Meanwhile, since being left off the USMNT roster, Donovan has been scoring with a vengeance; his latest was the equalizer in Sunday’s L.A. Galaxy draw against the Chicago Fire (Sunday was a pretty lousy day for the Windy City).
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann will have one more match to tinker with his side; the U.S. will take on Nigeria in their third and final friendly on June 7 before opening World Cup play against Ghana on June 16.
Roger Federer’s run of nine-consecutive quarterfinal appearances at the French Open came to an end Sunday, as the 17-time Grand Slam champion was upset by Ernests Gulbis. Feds, tennis’ reigning super villain, handled the loss with typical grace, suggesting that Gulbis faked an injury to milk a medical time out. … The Boston Red Sox pushed their winning streak to seven games, sweeping rivals Tampa Bay behind Jon Lester’s 12 Ks. This comes on the heels of their 10-game losing streak. Toronto’s Mark Buehrle became MLB’s first 10-game winner, pitching 8 shut-out innings against the K.C. Royals. Cleveland’s Michael Bourn hit a walk-off, two-run homer against Colorado. My fantasy teams continue to do very nicely, thanks for asking. … The NBA Finals tip off Thursday, with the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat battling it out for the second-straight year.